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SEO comes to Instagram

The “feed” is back. To keep Instagram relevant, the Instagram boffins have made a major update to the search functionality in the app.

Up until recently the search function was used for searching hashtags and locations. Now they have expanded that functionality to include keywords. It’s like a mini google.

It’s still in its basic form and when I say basic, I mean basic. Don’t try stringing together an amazing phrase looking for a how to. Think back early Google where you would just stick in a keyword and the results would show up.

Either way it’s a welcome update, and with that in mind here are four ways you can optimise your Instagram profile for discoverability.

1. Write a Caption

The caption is back. No longer can you get by with writing an extremely cool and cryptic caption like “mood” then stuff it full of hashtags. Well, I guess you could, but it seems with this latest update and a few other tweaks Instagram is wanting to bring people back to the feed.

Keeping in mind that Instagram is no Google, the sprinkling of relevant keywords through your caption should be kept simple. Pick one or two that relate to the post and your primary topic.

2. Optimise Your Bio

Add relevant keywords to your description and to your name to make it more discoverable.

The name field in your profile is searchable and completely customisable. So, change it to highlight what your business is all about and increase your chances of appearing in the top results.

3. Fill in your Alt Text on your images

This is usually for a useability standpoint however if Instagram takes a leaf out of Google’s playbook, then Alt Text will be used for SEO purposes.

The purpose of the Alt Text on an image to describe the image for the visually impaired. It also helps algorithms understand better what the image is all about.

Fill in your Alt Text.

4. Avoid Black Hat SEO

Everyone wants a quick fix however, black hat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, just doesn’t work. Make sure your captions, bios, alt text etc… all have a natural flow to them. Write for the user not the computer!

Wrapping it All Up

With these recent changes it’s worth going through and optimising your Instagram account for SEO discoverability. While organic engagement/growth is still higher on other platforms these optimisation tips might get you that bump in growth you need on the Ol ‘gram.

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